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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1986 May 29;886(3):345-52.

31P-NMR spectra of methanogens: 2,3-cyclopyrophosphoglycerate is detectable only in methanobacteria strains.


The unique compound 2,3-cyclopyrophosphoglycerate occurs at a detectable concentration in the genera Methanobacterium and Methanobrevibacter but not in Methanococcus, Methanospirillum and Methanosarcina, as shown by a 31P-NMR survey of several different methanogens. Metabolic poisons (carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone and valinomycin) do not decrease the level of the cyclic pyrophosphate in Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum; therefore, it cannot be a phosphagen, i.e., an energy storage material. 13CO2 is rapidly incorporated into this cyclic compound which represents the major soluble carbon as well as the phosphorus component of this methanobacteria. 13C-NMR analysis demonstrates that the pKa of the 2,3-cyclopyrophosphoglycerate carboxyl group is 2.55. The unusual pseudomurein cell wall structure of methano- and methanobrevibacteria necessitates a high demand on carbohydrate metabolism. For this reason, and the fact that when its concentration is decreased no new phosphorus resonances appear in the high resolution spectra, it is suggested that 2,3-cyclopyrophosphoglycerate has a function in carbohydrate metabolism.

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